The parable of the Good Samaritan offers us a rich metaphor for our spiritual lives, as explained by some of the great Saints of the early Church. We are the “man” who fell victim to the robbers on our descent from Jerusalem (heaven) to Jericho (the world). The robbers are the sins and vices that steal our joy, our freedom, and our life. Having chosen to walk a dangerous road alone we have been ambushed, and our sins have left us half dead.
The Priest and the Levite, representing the Law and the temple sacrifices, could not free us from sin on their own; they passed near to us, but we were unable to benefit from them. It is only Christ Jesus--represented by the Samaritan, the stranger--who can lift us up. He comes to us as one unknown whose heart is very close to us. Jesus pours out the wine of His Precious Blood in the Sacraments to heal the wounds of our sins. He anoints us with the oil of the Sacred Chrism that allows us to partake in His divine joy as fellow priests, prophets and kings, and He carries us with His strength when ours has given out.
Pay attention now to the most neglected part of this parable: Jesus entrusts us to someone else for safekeeping. He takes us to the place where we are safe and well-cared-for, the Church. The innkeeper represents the bishops who have tended to our needs all the way back to the Apostles, the first stewards of Christs’ royal house. The Church continues the work of our Savior, continues to keep us safe in His Name. All this He has done out of love for us, in fulfilment of the Law.
So now we hear His words addressed to us: “Go and do likewise.”